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Highland Council is successful in bid for tourism infrastructure cash which will fund a dedicated official to develop a strategic visitor plan

By Scott Maclennan

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Chairman of the tourism committee Councillor Gordon Adam.
Chairman of the tourism committee Councillor Gordon Adam.

The Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund (RTIF) successfully awarded Highland Council funding to employ a dedicated development officer to develop infrastructure to deal with visitors.

The job will concentrate on a Strategic Tourism Infrastructure Development Plan (STIDP) and the cash will allow the council to move ahead with the work it has already done that was disrupted by Covid.

The local authority hopes that it will allow for a more detailed plan to be presented to the Scottish Government with a view to attracting additional funding in the future.

The council submitted a bid for the funding in the spring and was successful in being awarded a grant to cover up to 90 per cent of the costs of employing an officer for a fixed term of approximately six months and one has already been appointed.

The Highlands proved to be one of the tourist hotspots during the spike in staycations, which brought welcome visitors as well as unwelcome behaviour.

Tourism committee chairman Councillor Gordon Adam said: “Developing a Strategic Tourism Infrastructure Development Plan with communities, businesses and partnership organisations will allow the Council to plan what’s needed for Highland tourism in an environmentally sensitive way.

“I welcome the decision by the Scottish Government to allow local authorities and national parks the opportunity to apply to the RTIF for this work and look forward to the Development Plan being presented to the tourism committee in early 2022.”

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